The late Doc Watson and his musical legacy will figure prominently into MerleFest 2013, scheduled for April 25-28 on the campus of Wilkesboro Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The popular annual roots music festival (or “traditional plus,” in Watson’s words) was founded in honor of Watson’s son Eddy Merle, who passed away in 1985.
“This year’s festival will celebrate the life and music of our dear friend Doc Watson, who passed away on May 29,” says Ted Hagaman, MerleFest director. “For the past 25 years he has been the artistic and spiritual center of this festival, so this year, we will come together as a family to pay special tribute to the man and the musician who meant so much to us all.”
Headliners initially announced for the event include Charlie Daniels Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and a special all-star tribute to the late Watson assembled by mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush. Also scheduled to play are Matraca Berg, The Greencards, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, The Quebe Sisters Band, Bryan Sutton, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, and many more.
“This initial lineup shows that the festival will definitely live up to its ‘traditional plus’ motto, with a strong collection of internationally-known touring artists from many genres, as well as a collection of local North Carolina folk and bluegrass artists,” says Steve Johnson, MerleFest artist relations manager. “And, MerleFest fans know, as the lineup continues to develop in the coming months, it will offer quite a few surprises – let’s just say it’s going to be a big year!”
Tickets go on sale November 13. See the full lineup here.